Murray, Morris Lead Wildcats To 25-Point Win Over Alabama Thursday Night
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Taylor Murray (pictured, No. 24) scored 20 points and Maci Morris (pictured, No. 4) added 16 as the Kentucky women's basketball team beat Alabama 79-54 on Thursday night, Jan. 25 at Memorial Coliseum. Murray added a season-high 10 assists, one off of her career-best, as Kentucky beat Alabama for the fifth straight time and the seventh time in the last eight meetings. Kentucky (10-11, 2-5 SEC) got a career-high 15 points from freshman Dorie Harrison and a career-high-tying 12 points from fellow freshman KeKe McKinney. The Wildcats hit 33 of their 52 field goal attempts, for a sizzling 63.5 percent, the highest percentage Kentucky has shot from the field this season. Meanwhile, Kentucky held Alabama to 39.2 percent shooting while forcing 16 Tide turnovers. Kentucky was able to convert those miscues into 28 points. The Cats also controlled the inside game, outscoring Alabama 36-20 on points in the paint. Kentucky also got big contributions from their bench, outscoring Alabama 19-14 in bench points. The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with a tie and three lead changes, before Alabama took a 9-6 lead on a jumper by Ashley Williams with 5:09 left in the period. From there, the Tide would lead by as many as five, but Kentucky ended the quarter on a 6-2 run, and the Wildcats trailed 17-16 at the end of one period. In the second quarter, Alabama extended its lead to six, 24-18, with 6:02 remaining in the half. But, as they did in the first period, Kentucky answered, this time with nine straight points to take a 27-24 lead. The game would be tied at 27 and 29 before Kentucky scored the last five points of the half to take a 34-29 lead into the break. Murray had 12 points in the first half for the Cats, while McKinney added eight. Kentucky hit 15 of its 26 shots (57.7 percent) in the half, while scoring 13 points off of Alabama's 10 turnovers.
Kentucky maintained the lead early in the third quarter, extending the advantage to six on two occasions. Alabama got within two, 40-38, but senior Makenzie Cann drained a three-pointer from the left side to boost the UK advantage back to five, 43-38. Alabama again cut the lead to two before Kentucky went on a 11-3 run to lead 54-44. But Alabama scored the final five points of the period, cutting UK's lead to 54-49 after three quarters. The Cats started the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 61-49, with 7:52 left in the game. But Kentucky wasn't done. After the Tide scored a basket to make it 61-51, the Wildcats ran off nine straight points, including three-pointers from Morris and Cann, to build the lead to 19 points, 70-51, with 4:40 remaining. Kentucky would lead by as many as 26 before settling for a 25-point win, UK's largest margin of victory since beating Evansville 100-62 on December 5. Alabama (14-7, 4-4) was led by Ashley Williams, who scored 15 points. Kentucky returns to action on Monday, as the Wildcats visit Arkansas. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.
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